762A.00/10–653: Telegram

No. 588
The Secretary of State to the Office of the United States High Commissioner for Germany, at Bonn1


1160. Re Berlin’s 429 and 4332 we would still like to see Berlin coalition continue if possible although we realize Reuter’s death makes this outcome much more difficult and unlikely. If coalition cannot continue until scheduled elections in late 1954 we agree that elections at early date is probably next best solution. In our opinion least desirable of all would be for CDUFDP try governing alone especially with bare five seat majority. In any event we feel our interest best served by Berlin Government so firmly established that leaders not likely be distracted by inter-party quarrels. We would not like see partisan strife grow and mar Berlin’s role as key and influential democratic outpost.

We leave your discretion possible use appropriate informal conversations in Bonn and/or Berlin to influence unobtrusively decisions toward desirable solution, including delicate question of possible approach to Chancellor.

We look forward Berlin’s appraisals leading contenders for Mayor’s post as situation develops. If Lemmer is or should become one of these, would particularly appreciate evaluation his political record. Also curious to what extent Suhr’s view that election new governing Mayor e.g. Schreiber, would cause present coalition collapse is shared by other SPD leaders. While from practical viewpoint we see that Schreiber would need Deputy we fear Suhr’s contention on election Mayor, if shared, would destroy coalition.

  1. Drafted by Carlson and cleared by Eleanor Dulles and Lewis. Repeated to Berlin.
  2. Telegram 429 reported that, following the funeral of Mayor Reuter, Berlin political leaders had begun to turn their attention to the future of the Berlin Government. Telegram 433 reported that Schreiber, Suhr, and Vockel, the Federal Plenipotentiary in Berlin, all favored continuation of the coalition government, while Kielinger, the CDU Senator for Justice, felt the coalition could not continue indefinitely. (762A.00/10–553 and 10–653)